unveiled its “Ultium Drive” on Wednesday. It sounds high-tech, but it isn’t science fiction. Ultium is a solution for today’s electric-vehicle market and amounts to a set of five interchangeable drive units and three electric motors that will help GM meet its goal of becoming an all-EV auto maker down the road.
General Motors (ticker: GM) has generated a lot of news surrounding its alternative-fuel platforms lately. Still, investors don’t see the company as an EV leader. The stock trades for roughly 6 times estimated 2023 earnings. Stock in EV behemoth
(TSLA), on the other hand, trades for roughly 50 times estimated 2023 earnings. However, it is a better idea to compare GM and Tesla earnings further into the future, because Tesla is growing more rapidly than GM.
GM management is working hard to shift perception. The company played host to a battery technology day earlier in 2020, touting its designs and targeting 400 miles on a single charge. That is better than average. Tesla is the only electric-auto maker with a model that can travel 400 miles without recharging, according to government testing.
In July, GM announced plans to build fast-charging stations for EVs, partnering with EVgo.
Recent news and the success of EV companies in 2020 have led Wall Street analysts to wonder whether GM should split off its electric-vehicle business into a separate company. It could trade at a higher multiple and not have the problems of a legacy internal-combustion-engine business tethered to it.
GM management hasn’t said anything definitive and is keeping its options option. The idea of GM as an EV company, though, got another boost in early September after
(NKLA) selected it to supply battery and fuel-cell technology for the startup’s coming alternative-fuel heavy-duty trucks.
GM stock is up about 7% since that announcement. Nikola shares, however, are down roughly 8%. Nikola stock has been hit most recently by a short seller report from Hindenburg Research.
“GM has built transmissions for many notable auto makers,” Ken Morris, vice president of Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Programs, said in the company’s news release. “Making motors, transmissions, driveline components and systems are among GM’s best-known competencies, and our manufacturing expertise is proving not only transferable but advantageous as we make the transition to EVs.”
His statement sounds like another step in transforming GM not only into an EV company, but an EV supplier.
Year to date, GM shares are down about 13%. EV stocksBarron’s tracks are up almost 400% on average.
Write to Al Root at email@example.com